In the late 20th century, the capital of Texas truly came into its own, emerging as an important center for the high tech industry, as a major city for education due to the University of Texas at Austin, and as home to a nationally renowned music scene.
With the presence of the tech industry large and still growing, Austin is well-positioned for the future, and the economy is already reflecting the benefits. The city's vibrant cultural scene is evidenced by events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival. This cultural scene intermingles with the city's tech focus to give rise to the South by Southwest festival, featuring music, film, and emerging technology.
- Number 1 on Forbes' 2013 list of "Best Places For Job Growth".
- Number 1 on NerdWallet's 2014 list of "Best Cities for Job Seekers".
- Number 2 on vocativ.com's 2013 list of "The 35 Best U.S. Cities For People 35 and Under".
- Number 2 for "Job Growth" and number 15 for "Education" on Forbes' 2013 "Best Places For Business and Careers" list.
- 2nd safest major city in the country, according to a 2012 study by the FBI.
- Number 5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of "10 Best Cities to Find Jobs".
- Number 6 on Kiplinger's 2008 "Best Cities to Live, Work and Play" list.
- Number 8 on Businessweek.com's 2012 list of "America's 50 Best Cities".
- Number 10 on newgeography's 2013 list of "Best Cities for Job Growth".
Major Industries and Employers
Austin is one of the foremost centers of the tech industry in the world, with the industry creating a wealth of employment in the city. The multinational corporations Dell and Freescale Semiconductor are both based on Austin, providing huge stimulation to the local economy. Dell and IBM each employ more than 6,000 people in the city.
Other major employers in the city include the local, state, and federal governments; various healthcare providers; and the University of Texas at Austin.
In addition to the tech industry, other industries with a well-established presence in the Austin economy include medical services and education. The city is also gaining increasing prominence as a hub for companies focused on biotechnology, life sciences, and pharmaceuticals.
In 2012, the population of Austin was estimated to be 842,592 people, of which 152,638 were born overseas and 38,794 are veterans. The median age is 31.1, with 22.1% of the population being between 20 and 29 years old.
Among the residents at or above 25 years of age, the rate of high school graduation is 86.1%, and the rate of attainment of a bachelor's degree or higher is 44.8%. This puts Austin substantially ahead of the US as a whole for bachelor's degree-attainment, since the national rate is 28.5%.
The unemployment rate for Austin stands at 4.5%, which is significantly better than the nation's 6.7%. The city's mean per capita income is $31,387 and its poverty rate is 19.4%. The homeownership rate is only 45.1% (compared to the nation's 65.5%), but the monthly homeowner costs in Austin are also low, at $1,725.
Austin is a good destination for job seekers, especially those interested in entering the tech, education, health care, or bio-research industries. The homeownership rate and the poverty rate are both somewhat discouraging, but the unemployment rate and homeowner costs are impressively low, and the mean income for residents is notably above the national average. In addition, the city boasts a thriving cultural and music scene.